- ‘BE PREPARED’ ECB Fires Grave Warning to Europe’s Most Debt-Ridden Countries
by LANA CLEMENTS, http://www.express.co.uk/
EUROPE’S debt-laden countries have been warned to prepare for higher borrowing costs and an end to ultra accommodative monetary policies that have helped prop up economies in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
In a stark alert, a top policymaker from the European Central Bank (ECB) told governments and other players to expect interest rates to start rising from negative levels. ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure told an audience in Paris: “It’s obvious that the financial sector, and other economic actors and especially governments must prepare (for higher interest rates).
“I hope that eurozone governments know that interest rates will not stay at current levels.” Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal are among the countries that are burdened with heavy debts after being bailed out at the height of the financial crisis.
The ECB slashed interest rates and embarked on a huge money-printing programme to help aid struggling countries and boost the economy. The bank currently injects billions of euros into the economy every month by buying up government debts. The policy in effect increases demand and lowers borrowing costs for the respective states. But amid signs of higher inflation in some countries, as well as high demand in the debt – or bond – market, the ECB is coming under pressure to ease policies.